Jul 24, 2009 1:26pm
Re: 1977 recommendations
Thank you DrSpark for bringing the archive back from--and TO--the Dead!
'77 is by far my favorite year. Here are my recommendations.
1) Do not miss 10/29/77. It is my all-time single favorite show. Here's my review for why and link to a great source recording: http://www.archive.org/details/gd1977-10-29.sbd.miller.92085.sbeok.flac16
2) 4/23/77 is a stand-out because if there's one complain you could make about '77 it's that the set lists are pretty uniform. (A nitpicking point since the performances are so stellar--who cares?) But 4/23/77 is both an A+ show performance-wise AND a ridiculously generous set list. How many '77 shows contain amazing SCARLET>FIRES and HELP>SLIP>FRANKLINS and a scorching GDTRFB...This is just one of those shows where the band was clearly in take-no-prisoners rock-out hard mode and never lets up. Pay oarticularly close attention to the FRANKLINS TOWER. Great BERTHA as well, if I'm not mistaken.
3) As was mentioned above, I think the 5/13/77 show deserves a lot more attention. Contains a top 3 all-time SCARLET>FIRE and many clean, killer versions of other tunes, inc. a blistering SAMSON.
4) 6/9/77 is probably the best of an amazing Winterland run. Hard to argue against the HELP>SLIP>FRANKLINS being an alltime best. All around masterful show.
5) It's hard to pick just 5 shows, but to round out this list I'd check out yet another May show (throw a dart, really) that gets overlooked a lot and that's 5/18/77. A really solid show with a beauty of an ESTMATED>EYES and lots of first set gems including a nice JACK A ROE and a picture-perfect MUST HAVE BEEN THE ROSES.
Honorable mentions could go on forever but I'd also suggest 5/17/77, 11/1/77, 11/6/77 (just for the HALF STEP alone), and if you don't have it already the Dick's Picks of 12/29/77 which contains the year's only CHINA>RIDER and maybe the best NFA they ever played.
Enjoy 1977! and thanks for posting about THE GRATEFUL DEAD!